Title

Predicting men's perceptions of date rape using the heuristic-systematic model

Date of Award

1996

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Advisor(s)

Clive M. Davis

Keywords

sexual abuse, persuasion, rape, Social psychology, Cognitive therapy

Subject Categories

Social Psychology

Abstract

Using the Heuristic-Systematic Model of persuasion, I investigated how men who believe in token resistance to sex--that women who say no to sexual intercourse mean yes--and how men who do not believe in token resistance, cognitively process a woman's message that she does not want to engage in coitus. I hypothesized that men who have a stronger belief in token resistance would be relatively more likely to perceive a situation as date rape when heuristic cues for rape are strong and less likely to perceive a situation as date rape when heuristic cues for rape are weak. Further, I hypothesized that men who have a weaker belief in token resistance would be relatively more likely to perceive a situation as date rape when arguments are strong and less likely to perceive a situation as date rage when arguments are weak. Men who have a stronger belief in token resistance would perceive less date rape than men who have a weaker belief in any situation in which information consistent with the belief in token resistance was present. I also hypothesized that the Token Resistance to Sex Scale would positively correlate with the Callous Sexual Attitudes subscale of the Hypermasculinity Inventory, the Token Refusal subscale, the Leading on Justifies Force subscale, the Women Like Force subscale and the Men Should Dominate subscale of the Sexual Beliefs Scale, and would negatively correlate with the No Means Stop subscale of the Sexual Beliefs Scale. All scales correlated in the expected directions. Results indicate that as belief in token resistance gets stronger, perceptions of date rape get weaker, but for those men who believe more strongly in token resistance, as cues get stronger, perceptions of date rape increase. As arguments get stronger, perceptions of date rape get stronger. Support for the Heuristic-Systematic Model in predicting perceptions of date rape is discussed.

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